With the lockdowns, loss of jobs, social distancing, and masks to be worn because of the coronavirus I am sure it has put people in the depths of despair. Does this mean that God is no longer there? Absolutely not! Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Notice He says He will not leave us! Even though we are all going through this, and it sometimes feels like we are doing a death crawl. After all, we are being warned daily that we could die from the news all around us! What a giant we are all facing!
I watched years ago a movie that illustrates how much we can endure titled “Facing the Giants.” This Christian movie is about an American football coach who goes through some hard times both personally and professionally, and then decides to hand it all over to God.
The scene that affected me the most was the death crawl scene. The team had been losing and they knew nothing would change. Coach Taylor noticed their losing attitude and especially in the team captain Brock. Taylor decided to make Brock do the death crawl.
To do the death crawl the person must carry a player on his back while moving forward on his hands and feet. The person with the heavy load cannot allow his knees to touch the ground. Coach Taylor took this exercise one step further and blindfolded Brock so he could not see how far he had to go, become overwhelmed, and give up.
Blindfolded, as Brock took each step, it became even harder and the load became even heavier. Does this sound familiar with our trials? The coach sensing Brock wanted to quit, get’s down on his hands and knees, and continually yells out “don’t quit”! “You can do this”! “Ten more steps Brock!” ”Five more steps”! “Don’t quit Brock!” “You can do this.” Coach Taylor continued to yell out! When Brock could no longer go, he collapsed with the 160 pound teammate on his back! When Brock looked up, Coach Taylor told him he had just done the death crawl 100 yards! The coach only asked him to go 50 yards but knew he could do more!
So what does football and the death crawl have to do with the trials of today? Even though football has been banned for now because of the virus, we can still learn lessons with this fighting spirit of “Don’t quit!” God knows that you have a lot more endurance in you than you think. Just like Coach Taylor’s belief in Brock.
Here are three things that will help us fight through our trials.
1. Don’t Quit! You cannot win if you quit
No matter how hard, no matter how hopeless, we cannot quit! The poem “Don’t Quit” sends out a huge message to not quit, even when everything seems all-uphill, like doing a death crawl. Even enduring the changes of the world today because of the coronavirus we can make it with God. We can’t quit!
2. We need encouragement while doing the death crawl
Ask for encouragement when your load is so heavy and you can’t go any further. What got Brock through this death crawl was his coach’s encouragement. We all need a cheerleader to encourage us along the way. Ask God for encouragement. God is our biggest cheerleader. God is nearer to us when we hurt, and when we are suffering. More so now than ever before because everything seems so bleak.
Psalm 46:1-2 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 48:14: “For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.”
Psalm 55:22: “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”
3. Be willing to carry your brother or sister on your back while they struggle through their trials
The death crawl is also an example of someone carrying someone else on their back as Brock did with the 160 pound teammate on his back. Do all you can to help those who are going through this horrific trial! Encourage them as coach Taylor did to Brock. You may even have to carry them for a while by listening, praying for them and just being there. We are encouraged in Galatians 6:2 to “bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” In addition, we have seen many great examples of people doing that.
The losing underdog team in “Facing the Giants” went on to become champions because they did not quit when it seemed so hopeless. Remember Isaiah 40:28-31: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
We have all felt the effects from this “Giant,” the coronavirus! However, God is bigger than this virus! God is there to help us fight this giant and win! With God, all things are possible and He will help us win those battles we are dealing with! We will win!